Some producers are clearly more affected than others


The oxidation which has been observed in the 1995 to 2006 vintages seems to vary widely among producers. Some producers seem to have a very high incidence of oxidized bottles while others have very little. In my opinion [Ed. Don Cornwell], there appear to be five broad categories among producers.

Category I: The first category is a group of producers whose rates of oxidation appear to be greater than one out of three bottles and, in a few cases, the incidence of oxidation approaches 100% by the time the wine is seven to eight years old. In my opinion, the producers who fall in this category of the highest incidence producers are: Guy Amiot, Blain-Gagnard, Bonneau du Martray, Colin-Deleger, Coutoux, Droin, Fontaine-Gagnard, Gagnard-Delegrange, Jadot [starting with 2000 vintage], Jouard, Juillot, Matrot, Tessier and Verget.

Category II: The second category is a group of producers who have unexplainable seemingly "random" oxidation but at what would appear to be a clearly higher than normal or "above average" incidence. The producers who would presently fall in this category in my opinion are: Carillon, Fevre, Girardin, Lafon, Hubert Lamy, Montille [recently elevated from Category I based on better perfornance in the post-2003 vintages], Jean-Marc Pillot [previously "elevated" from Category I based on better performance in post-99 vintages], Ramonet, Sauzet [previously "elevated" from Category I on the strength of the 2000-2005 vintages] and Roumier.

Category III: The third category is the largest group of producers for whom the oxidation incidence is "today's normal" or roughly 10-15%. There are far too many producers to name here individually, but you can figure it out by process of deduction given the other listed producers in Categories I, II, IV and V.

Category IV: The fourth category is a group of producers who seem to have had oxidation problems in only one particular vintage or with one particular bottling in a vintage: Pernot (1995), Roulot (1996 Meursault Perrieres and perhaps others), Leroy SA (1996 Meursault Perrieres initial release), Pierre Morey (1999) and Domaine Leflaive (2007), though the latter should likely be moved to Category II for the post-07 wines.

Category V: The fifth and final group of producers are those who have very little premature oxidation as a percentage of bottles opened and indeed seem to have no higher incidence of premature oxidation since 1994 than they did before, i.e., Coche-Dury, DRC, Leroy/D'Auvenay and Raveneau.